Friday, October 3, 2008

Dr. Geektarded's 31 Films of Halloween

To kick off the Halloween festivities, I've cooked up a Netflix list for all you Horror fans

Dr. Geektarded's 31 Films of Halloween

The first flick in the trilogy from director John Carpenter, Halloween almost single-handedly invented the 1980s slasher genre. Escaped lunatic Michael Myers (no, not the Austin Powers actor) goes on a murderous baby-sitter-slaying rampage on Halloween. Only baby sitter Jamie Lee Curtis (the quintessential scream queen) and psychiatrist Donald Pleasence can stop him.

Halloween II
This bloodier sequel picks up where the original ended. An injured Jamie Lee Curtis recuperates in the hospital not knowing that murderous Michael Myers is licking his wounds in a nearby room. The hospital setting makes for spooky sequences with Myers' slow footsteps echoing loudly on the tile floor. The diagnosis for impressionable viewers: long nights of insomnia.

High Tension
Students Marie (Cecile de France) and Alex (Maiwenn Le Besco) have no idea of the horrors that await them when they head off to a remote country home to study for their upcoming exams. When night falls, a psychopathic stranger attacks, tying up Alex and taking her away. It's up to Marie to save her friend -- but first, she must figure out what is really going on. Philippe Nahon co-stars in this twisty-turny tale of terror.

Fright Night
Nobody believes horror-movie addict Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) when he discovers that his suave new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon), is a vampire. Kith and kin believe Charley is certifiable, and his single mother develops a romantic interest in Dandridge. When the bloodsucker starts stalking Charley, he turns to TV horror-film host and ghoul-hunter Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) in this hysterical spoof.

Night of the Comet
Earth has been ripped to shreds after a run-in with a killer comet, and those who have survived are in a fight for their lives in this campy cult classic. Valley Girl Reg (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her sister (Kelli Maroney) discover they're two of the lucky few. But scientists are after them, and now they must run. Why? Because the researchers believe they need the blood of survivors to concoct a drug that can save them all from further ruin.

An American novelist comes to Rome to promote his latest book, "Tenebre." After his arrival, a shocking sequence of brutal homicides occur which strangely resemble the murders he's written about in his book ...

Silver Bullet
Adapted from author Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf, this campy thriller tells of a sleepy American town that's terrorized by extreme sadistic murders -- seemingly, by a werewolf. While all the town's inhabitants prepare to lock themselves up at night, Marty Coslaw, a 13-year-old, wheelchair-bound boy, is the only person brave enough to try to track down the mysterious killer.

Friday the 13th: Part 4: The Final Chapter
Hockey-masked psychopath Jason Vorhees (Ted White) is back in business at Camp Crystal Lake in the fourth (but far from final) installment of the popular, long-running horror series. As randy teens are slain one by one, Tommy (Corey Feldman) comes up with a plan to distract the killer. Makeup master Tom Savini provides much of the gore, and actor Crispin Glover turns in an unusual performance as a stud in training.

Friday the 13th: Part 7: The New Blood
The legendary horror series continues! After lying dormant at the bottom of Crystal Lake, Jason is released from his watery grave by Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln), a telekinetic teenager who returned to the site where her father supposedly drowned in hopes of using her psychic powers to solve the mystery of his death. But, with the hockey-masked murderer on the loose, the killing spree begins again. Can she control her powers enough to stop Jason?

A Nightmare on Elm Street
A group of high school friends are being slaughtered in their sleep by the hideous fiend of their shared dreams. When the police ignore her explanation, one girl must confront the killer in his shadowy realm.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
It's been many years since Freddy Krueger's (Robert Englund) first victim, Nancy, came face to face with Freddy and his sick, evil ways. Now, Nancy's all grown up; she's put her frightening nightmares behind her and is helping teens cope with their dreams. Too bad Freddy's decided to herald his return by invading the kids' dreams and scaring them into committing suicide.

Often considered one of the icons of 1970s independent horror cinema, director Don Coscarelli's classic nail-biter follows two boys who, in pursuit of an odd-looking grave robber, may wind up as the newest members of a freshly dead slave race. Jody (Bill Thornbury) and Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) discover that the creature (Angus Scrimm) stealing cadavers walks the earth but lives in the afterworld -- and that it needs more corpses.

The Return of the Living Dead
The freshly risen undead are ready to party in this horror-comedy that finds two employees of a medical supply company unwittingly releasing several zombies from cylinders in which they've been trapped for years. Soon, the local citizenry is forced to deal with a large-scale zombie epidemic as the nasty, brain-eating creatures go on a rampage, hungry as ever and eager to make up for lost time!

Return of the Living Dead 2
What's that smell?? When a large container of top-secret, classified gas rolls off an army truck, a group of curious kids open the lid … naturally. But that turns out to be a fatal mistake, as the lethal stench soon wafts into a nearby cemetery, reanimating an army of gnarly zombies who want nothing more than to feed on the flesh of the living. Better send more paramedics!

Not your average slasher flick, Scream distinguishes itself with a cast of attractive up-and-comers and a self-parodying sense of humor. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campell) is terrorized by a murderer intent on paying homage to the teen horror classics (Halloween, Prom Night) by offing everyone Sidney knows. As in the grand tradition of popular horror films, sequels were born, along with the parody Scary Movie and its offspring.

Jeepers Creepers
A college-age brother and sister (Justin Long and Gina Philips) get more than they bargained for on their road trip home from spring break. When the bickering siblings witness a creepy truck driver tossing body bags into a sewer near an abandoned church, they investigate. Bad move! Opening a Pandora's Box of unspeakable evil, the pair must flee for their lives -- with a monstrous "shape" in hot pursuit.

Child's Play
A chubby toy doll named Chucky becomes an instrument of terror in director Tom Holland's unnerving tale of horror. Before cops gun down a serial killer (Brad Dourif), he invokes a spell that transfers his soul into the body of Chucky -- who ends up as a birthday present for 6-year-old Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent). When a rash of murders ensues, he knows Chucky is the culprit, but neither Andy's mother (Catherine Hicks) nor the police believe him.

Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, this campy send-up follows an egotistical medical student (Jeffrey Combs) who develops a serum that revives the dead. Together with his girlfriend and his obdurate roommate, Combs reanimates a corpse but doesn't factor in certain complications that arise. Filled with equal parts laughter and gore, Re-Animator spawned a similarly outlandish sequel.

From Beyond
After inventing a way for creatures from the fourth dimension to come into his own world, Dr. Edward Pretorious (Ted Sorel) suffers a gruesome decapitation at the hands of those he brought "from beyond." But authorities suspect his assistant (Jeffrey Combs) is to blame. Barbara Crampton co-stars as a beautiful psychiatrist brought in to help police solve the case in this classic 1980s thriller based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Stranded in a cabin in the woods, Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend accidentally invoke a spell that causes the Evil Dead to rise and kill! As a lone man pitted against hordes of walking corpses, can Ash survive until the safety of sunrise? Director Sam Raimi's whip-crack direction and Campbell's comedic skills induce hair-raising fear and gales of laughter.

Seeking out the quintessential college experience by backpacking through Europe, two American students (Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson) befriend an eccentric Icelander (Eythor Gudjonsson) and head to a hostel that's said to be brimming with women. But once they arrive, their desires are quelled by the discovery of unimaginable horrors. Quentin Tarantino presents this grisly tale based in part on actual events, directed by Eli Roth.

While researching urban myths, grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) learns about the Candyman (Tony Todd), a hook-handed creature who's said to haunt a Chicago housing project. In this creepy film based on a Clive Barker story, the Candyman is made flesh by other people's belief in him. Not surprisingly, Lyle manages to summon him. Soon, the Candyman has committed a series of murders, and the cops are holding Lyle responsible.

The Hitcher
Never pick up strangers; that's a lesson Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) will wish he'd learned. While driving from Chicago to San Diego, he picks up hitchhiker John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) but regrets it when he begins to suspect Ryder may be a serial killer. Before Halsey can say, "Get out of my car," Ryder kills again -- and frames him for the murders.

The Ring
It sounded like just another urban legend: a videotape filled with nightmarish images, leading to a phone call foretelling the viewer's death in exactly 7 days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) was naturally skeptical of the story -- until four teens died mysteriously one week after watching such a tape. Curious, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it … and now, she has just 7 days to unravel the mystery of the "Ring."

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Director Tobe Hooper's horror classic is a gruesome reminder that a movie need not be complicated to scare the daylights out of viewers. Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother (Paul A. Partain) and their friends travel to a vandalized graveyard to see if their grandfather's remains are intact. En route, they come upon chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), and it's a fight to the bloody death between good and evil.

Dawn of the Dead
Picking up where Night of the Living Dead left off, this classic horror flick from director George Romero begins with zombies taking over every major city in the United States. Running for their lives, Peter (Ken Foree), Roger (Scott Reiniger), Stephen (David Emge) and Frances (Gaylen Ross) find refuge in a remote shopping mall, only to discover they must fight a motorcycle gang as well as the undead ghouls.

Day of the Dead
The third chapter in writer-director George Romero's classic zombie film saga finds a group of scientists and soldiers hiding in an underground bunker to escape a world overrun by the flesh-eating undead. The scientists desperately seek a way to control the zombies, while the military just wants to kill as many of them as possible. But infighting between the two groups takes a backseat when the zombies invade the subterranean facility.

Night of the Living Dead
Director George Romero's low-budget horror classic continues to inspire heebie-jeebies, in part because of the randomness of the zombies' targets. As dead bodies return to life and feast on human flesh, young Barbara (Judith O'Dea) joins a group of survivors in a farmhouse hoping to protect themselves from the hordes of advancing zombies. But even with assistance in slowing down and killing zombies, soon only one person remains in the farmhouse.

The Thing
Kurt Russell leads a team of American scientists at a base in Antarctica. Their uneventful lives are disrupted by a group of Norwegians in a helicopter firing at a lone dog. When the chopper crashes, the dog moves in with the scientists. During the night, the canine metamorphoses and attacks other animals at the base and members of the team, who soon discover that an alien that can take any shape is in their midst. John Carpenter directed.

The Burning
Years after a summer camp janitor (Lou David) is severely burned and disfigured as the result of a teenage prank gone awry, he's released from the local insane asylum and returns to the scene of the crime to seek revenge against those who harmed him. Several yet-to-be-famous stars pop up in this classic teen horror flick, including Oscar winner Holly Hunter and Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld."

Freddy vs. Jason
It's the showdown horror fans have been waiting for! This slasher movie produced by Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham pits two of cinema's biggest, freakiest, scariest ambassadors of evil -- the nightmarish Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and the sinister Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) -- in the ultimate face-off. It's a battle to die for -- literally! Co-stars Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter and Monica Keena.


AllHallowSteve said...

Fantastic list! This is the list I would give to someone who wanted to get into horror movies. These are the staples.

I agree with everything on it except Return of the Living Dead 2. The first was so good and the 2nd was just... so... inferior... and, well, silly.

Instead may I propose: Feast. It's got a similar tone to ROTLD but is way better than its sequel.


Dr. Geektarded said...

I hear what you're saying on ROTLD2. It's more a nostalgia thing for me. One of those early horror-at- the-theater experiences, where I was albe to go to the movies and wasn't just watching them at home or on VHS.

Feast is a great one. Perfect blend of horror, comedy and gore.

Anyway, thanks for posting and I'm gonna check out your site.


John said...

Halloween horror films are my most favorite. Thanks for Netflix list.

Jay Amabile said...

glad you threw in Jeepers Creepers...I genuinely liked this film...and it's very underrated.

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